Wondering If He’s Mr. Right? Then He’s Not.

 

Wondering whether or not someone is Mr. Right means he’s not. It really is exactly that simple. When you’ve met or gotten to know Mr. Right, he’ll be so Mr. Exactly  Right that you’ll know it like a lightening bolt to your chest. You’ll no sooner be able to wonder whether or not he’s Mr. Right then you’d wonder, standing out in the rain, whether or not you’re getting wet.

You’ll know. (And this is all true for men wondering about Miss Right, too.) In love—as in virtually everything—listen to your heart. Sure, it’s a doe-eyed cliche. But it’s true. Your heart knows. Your brain will do as brains do, and kick in with all kinds of noise and nonsense. But listening to your brain about such things is like listening to Bozo about blending in. Forget it. When considering if a certain someone is the certain someone, kick in with the only evaluative faculties that matter in such matters (or any matters, really): Your instincts.

It’s like with God. Think about God, and you get about nowhere. Feel  God, and he’s on you like yellow on mustard.

Think about whether you’re in love with someone, and good luck. Feel  whether you are, and you’ll know it like you know your name.

Then all that’s left is to obey what you’ve learned, to do what you know is right. And therein so often, of course, lies the rub.

 

Related posts: God Doesn’t Care If You’re Married or Not; You! Get Married! Now!; Looking for Mr. Right? You’re Missing the Point, Missy; Six Tests to Determine If He’s Mr. Right; To Single Women: Men. Don’t. Change.; Surprise (Or Not!)! Men Are SpoiledTop 10 Tips for Becoming an Ideal Husband; What’s In A Word: The Truth Behind Men’s Personal Ads.

 

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • JCinBoulder

    Wow, this is the worst advice anyone could ever give. I know of plenty of unhappy marriages and worse still divorces that are a direct result of following the heart without any input form the brain. How about following the biblical standard for a potential spouse and some solid premarital counseling. The Christan Counseling Education Foundation has an excellent short pamplet called "Pre-engagement; 5 questions to ask yourself" that is an great placed to start. Remember that Sampson was following his heart with Delialah, and look where that got him

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    First of all, the worst advice anyone could ever give isn't "Follow your heart in love." It's "Jump off a building: You'll fly!" or, "If you drill into your leg, it'll feel good!"

    But to the point: You're saying you lack the means of discerning whether or not someone is right for you? (And it seems to me Sampson wasn't following his heart so much as he was his … little Sampson.)

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com Skerrib

    I think it's worth mentioning that your "heart" is much deeper than your emotions. To me it's more like listening to your gut. But I think it's the same idea.

    When I go with my emotions I get all starry-eyed and I am certain things will work out (this works with way more than Mr/Ms Right). When I analyze I over-analyze, and get mired in the voices in my head. When I am still, and listen to my gut, I generally know if something is truly 'right' or not. Red flags (or green ones?) bypass the brain entirely and go to our gut, in my opinion. We just KNOW.

    Some would say this has something to do with the Holy Spirit. I think sometimes, yes…but let's not go forming theology based on my hunches.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Skerrib: Exactly right. That's why I used to mean the same thing the words "heart," "instincts," and (referring to the Holy Spirit") "feel." You said it perfectly. Thanks.

    When people driven by "emotion" are moved to merge their lives with people/mates they shouldn't, they, too, are, in fact, listening to their hearts. And what their hearts are always telling them, on some primordial level they can't hear but is nonetheless driving them, is that, through their new mate, they need to work out their (emotionally traumatic) childhood issues.

    Romantic love is one thing. Learning to overcome our parents is another. The latter generally trumps.

  • Cibola

    I feel like JCinB has some very valid points, especially concerning following biblical standards. The most obvious is that if you meet a person and there’s major chemistry between you, but the person isn’t a Christian, then the warm, fuzzy feeling is probably not the Holy Spirit.

    But all that aside, John, I find your idea about how the woman who marries a bad boy fascinating. You said she “is bringing into her life what, at some level, she knows she needs in order to clean up what is standing between her and God.” Wow… I’ve thought similar things about me and my spouse. We’re very different, and sometimes I long for someone who could share my interests and excitements….. but then sometimes I just trust that God knew what I needed in a spouse. God knows what aspects of my character need changing and building up. This “Mr. Right” could be the very best thing for me in the way of helping me learn how to love. If I had someone more like myself, then the difficulties wouldn’t be the same, and I might never have gone through some of the character-building times. I don’t know if any of this theorizing is biblical, except that God is sovereign and big enough to control things like the building of our character

  • http://www.sheppardministries.com Greta

    Good answer, John! On the other hand, I talked to someone the other day of east Asia descent. We were talking about arranged marriages. He said ” In our country we are taught that you learn to love, not fall in love.” me thinks he has a point. But I am not in agreement with arranged marriages by parents for their children. I do however agree that one can ‘learn to love’.

  • JCinBoulder

    O.K. maybe saying this is the worst advice ever is a little overstated, but who doesn’t know a woman who married a “bad-boy” because he made her feel all warm and fuzzy, or the guy who married the woman wo was a little more than slightly off kilter, because he loved the excitement, all leading to disasterous results. There simply is no appropriate substitute in my mind for evaluating your future spouse biblicaly. You should love them, and them start thinking about whether sheor he would make a good spouse.

    And yes the Bible teaches that the heart is more than emotions, but it also teaches that it “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    JC: That’s what Skerrib and I are saying: the “sick” heart, as compelling as it is, leads us astray; the pure heart (a.k.a., to us, the Holy Spirit) never steers us wrong.

    The woman who marries the “bad boy” is doing exactly what she wants. She is bringing into her life what, at some level, she knows she needs in order to clean up what is standing between her and God. In that critical sense, she is, in fact, following her truest heart.

    In the end, we all do.

  • http://www.iounomore.com Sam Burton

    Actually, I stopped wondering about Ms. Right years ago. My wife kept getting upset.

  • arlywn

    so what do you do if your heart, gut, spirit thingy has you falling in love with the worst guy ever? Okay, that was harsh, not the worst guy ever, but a jerk nonetheless. Do you chalk it up to a malfunctioning spirit thingy and order a new one?

  • JCinBoulder

    I hate to be harsh but

    "The woman who marries the “bad boy” is doing exactly what she wants. She is bringing into her life what, at some level, she knows she needs in order to clean up what is standing between her and God. In that critical sense, she is, in fact, following her truest heart."

    This is such a profoundly unscriptural statement. The notion that someone can "clean up" what is standing between them and God completely contradicts the Gospel. This would be works based salvation. Sin is what seperates us from God and the attoning sacrifice of Christ is what reconciles us. Period. marriage is deffinately an engine of sanctification in the believer's life, but scripture clearly teaches that it is God that enables the sanctification process. Making an unbiblical choice, especially in marriage, hinders it. There is simply nothing in scripture that indicates we should ever trust our hearts without comparing our desires to the scriptural standard. Even Paul lamented in Romans that he failed to do what he knew was right when he followed his desires (heart).

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Arlywn: If you're moved to be with someone who's not good for you, you think long and hard about why that is.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    JC: I've written quite a bit about this dynamic. One of those pieces is here:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2008/05/21/my-point-reje

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  • deliveryqueen

    I have been married twice in my short life of 43 years. My last divorce ended July 14, 2007. He remarried for the fouth time six months after the divorce was final. My biggest mistake with him was trusting him when he said that he would never leave me. The best advice given to me was this…. God is preparing a better man for you. Until then I have decided not to follow my human desires but to sit back and be patient. So what if I end up being alone in the long run. For in the end, I know that God will provide the right man for me.

  • http://www.davidrochester.wordpress.com davidrochester

    Wow … this is just such … really irresponsible advice, in my opinion. I do understand your point that people who make poor decisions are working something out that is standing between them and the greater good, but so much human suffering could be avoided by actually listening to the head rather than the heart, and getting therapy rather than engaging in disastrous love. There are better ways to work through traumatic and self-defeating issues than by committing to an inappropriate partner.

  • http://angelbearoh.wordpress.com angelbearoh

    This feeling stuff is weird to a guy like me who's analytical to a fault. It's like learning the ways of the Force and learning to let it flow through you and let it lead you where it will. My mind just rebels against it.

    I'm trying to find which way to take the plot of a comic strip. Does feeling play as large a role in writing as does in loving?

  • Ingrid

    John I have quit looking for mr. Right. He's never where you think he is and he always turns out to be a toad. Every time. So now i just enjoy life and maybe when God thinks its time we'll cross paths. If not then I am gonna have so much fun living I won't even miss him! ;)

  • http://ladyelaine80.wordpress.com Jess

    Okay, as I'm reading these comments, several things come to mind:

    1) There is a difference between feeling and the truth of God's Word. Scripture trumps our feeling every time. Because of this, it is important for every believer to be a diligent student of God's Word so that they know EXACTLY FOR THEMSELVES what the Biblical principles are.

    2.) Your head and your heart need to be involved in regards to your relationships. However, there needs to be balance in regards to the head and the heart. Just because my heart may be soaring doesn't mean I can ignore wisdom's call.

    This post also brought up other questions for me:

    Am I basing my life's decisions on what other people think, or what God has already said is the standard? If I'm using this standard for choosing someone to have access to my heart, am I basing this standard on Scripture or others' opinions?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Angel: Most every guy is analytical to a fault. So are most women. It's just a … human thing. The only real dynamic that counters it is, as you say, absolute trust in God (or … The Universe, or whatever your concept of God is)—which runs counter to Ye Oldye Need to Be In Control, which leads to the ever-spinning revolving door that is the life of a believer.

    As to your writing question: Yes, feeling plays as large a role in writing as it does in loving. Or should, anyway.

    Ingrid: Perfectly said! Brava!

  • Kathy

    I loved your message, actually.

    It was a 'lightbulb' moment, for me.

    Because all along, I thought I was following my heart too much — when I finally realized, it was actually my brain!! I was shocked that I had, all my life, refused to just 'follow my emotions' because they don't lead me anywhere good, to finally realize, it wasn't my heart that I was following, it was my brain.

    Let me explain, I fell in love with a non-Christian. I didn't mean to. Neither did he mean to fall in love. But it happened and it was the happiest time of my life. I would definitely say, in a sense, that he is not 'good for me' (because he is not able to pull me towards God, but actually, away). So why do I love him? Because seeing him is like seeing myself, if I never found God (or God never found me). I would be (pretty much) exactly like him. I'm not better than he is. Our only difference, in many many ways, is that I chose to accept God and by His grace, have been able to make a few right decisions in my life. The way he makes the wrong decisions, and hurts those and the things he actually loves, and thereby actually hurting himself, breaks my heart. I really believe only God's love, true love, can free him of that cycle. That is why I broke up with him. It was like, my love was substituting for God's love in his life. In a sense, it was cruel, but it was the only possible way that it may save him for him to realize he needs God more than he needs me. And I dare dare dare not take God's place in his heart. When I broke up with him, and I thought that was me listening to my brain, but it wasn't. It was me listening to my heart. And knowing in the bottom line, along with Godly wisdom, that it was the right thing to do. And that nothing can happen between us right now no matter how much I may love him or want to be with him. Even though my emotions know and feel that, somehow, it is my heart – not my brain, it is my love for him, that trumps over the lesser felt need of being with him. I really think, it is the times when I was argumentative, and felt he wasn't loving me enough, or he cannot possibly be the man for me because I deserve better – those were the times when I was listening to my brain.

    Anyhow, all my life I thought I would be better off listening to my brain than my heart. Only to realize – that it isn't true. I actually think the brain leads me to live a more worldly-standard and secular life that leaves no place for a God to exist. I'm going to follow my heart more – and trust God.

    Thanks for the message.

  • arlywn

    to answer your question john: I was with the guy because I loved him. I thought he was a good guy, and I thought he was going places and he made me happy.

    We started dating when I was 15, and broke up about 4 months ago. I'm 19. In 4 months, I have learned and seen and know what sort of person he is and was and that I didnt want to see in 4 years.

    Now, my heart says I still love him, and would love to give him my mended heart just to watch him break it again. But My head wont let me. It is over, and will stay over. There is no going back to him this time. I've played this dance more than once this time and while he believes that he was the one who ended it, like he had so many times before: I wont let him come back again, like I did so many times before.

    and it has nothing to do with god. its manipulation, and naivety.


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